Jürgen Klopp returns to the Signal Iduna Park when his Liverpool side meet Dortmund in the first leg of their Europa League quarterfinal. Four of DW's Bundesliga experts reveal their big game predictions.
Jonathan Harding: Tuchel's Dortmund will have the upper handThere's so much narrative surrounding this tie that it's easy to forget the football.
From the relationship between Jürgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel, to coach cameras and matching fan communities, the fixture is struggling to stay afloat in the face of slogans, video montages and hashtags. On the pitch though, things are calmer: Dortmund are strong favorites.
Tuchel has taken Klopp's concept and made it Bundesliga-proof, demonstrating the kind of dominance normally only on display in Munich. In his first season in charge, Tuchel has led Dortmund to their best-ever season for points at this stage and on pace for league's best-ever second-placed finish. Hidden below the one-team-league headline lies this dangerous Dortmund side - something Klopp knows full well.
The only thing standing in Dortmund's way is themselves. For the likes of Mats Hummels, Nuri Sahin and Ilkay Gündogan it will be odd hearing Klopp bellowing at someone else on the sidelines, but if they can handle those emotions Dortmund should be comfortable. It will take a dramatic disruption to Dortmund's gameplan for Liverpool to win the game, let alone the tie. Dortmund have a more potent attack, a defensive leader and a confidence most sides in Europe envy.
If Dortmund take a commanding lead to Anfield, the hosts will need another historic night of European football to advance.
Prediction: Dortmund 3-1 Liverpool
Stefan Bienkowski: Dortmund's returning stars should win comfortably
Tuchel's side are strong contenders to win season's Europa League because they really should be playing in the Champions League. Right now the Bundesliga side should be fighting for a spot in the semifinals of Europe's premier club competition, yet here they are facing Liverpool.
As such Dortmund are expected to beat their English opponents comprehensively, as they did Tottenham in the previous round. And with key players rested and ready to return, it seems as though Tuchel's team are not only in a perfect position, but also in ideal condition too.
Hummels, Sahin and Gündogan all sat out the weekend's action against Werder Bremen and should all feature in a full-strength side against Klopp's team on Thursday evening. If Liverpool had previously any hope of walking away from the first leg in Dortmund with their hopes of advancing to the semifinals still intact, it now looks even less likely with Tuchel's key players returning from time off.
Prediction: Dortmund 3-0 Liverpool
Ross Dunbar: Liverpool can't cope with Aubameyang
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang says he'll drive the batmobile around Borsigsplatz in Dortmund, if the yellow and blacks win a trophy this season. Well, the Gabon striker should oil those wheels because the UEFA Europa League title is theirs to lose this season.
While Sevilla remain a perennial contender for the prize, Liverpool are the second-strongest side in the tournament as a result of their huge financial means. But Dortmund are undoubtedly a class above, and if Thomas Tuchel's side were in the Champions League, they would likely be competing for a place in the last four.
Liverpool will have trouble stopping Dortmund's front three, should Klopp opt to employ his high-pressing game. Though it might cut off early possession, Aubameyang's searing pace will be too much for Liverpool's flaky defensem, which has kept just one clean sheet in their last five games. With 23 league goals and 10 Europa League goals, the striker's individual class helped power past Tottenham in the last round.
If the Dortmund striker can channel his runs behind Dejan Lovren and use the space between the fullbacks and center backs, then Tuchel's men should pick up a home win as comfortably as they did against Spurs in the last 16.
Prediction: Dortmund 3-1 Liverpool
Alex Chaffer: Dortmund won't be affected by emotions
Despite a less-than comprehensive win against Werder Bremen at the weekend, BVB, who haven't lost a game since December will be hell bent on keeping their unbeaten streak going. They will be all business at the Signal Iduna Park.
Spurs didn't help themselves in the first leg of the last 16 by fielding a weakened side for the first leg. Klopp won't make the same mistake with his Liverpool side, but the Merseyside club still won't be capable of overcoming the currently unstoppable Dortmund.
As well as being part one of a mouth-watering European tie, off the pitch, emotions will of course run high for both teams, as Klopp makes his first return to Dortmund since leaving the club last summer. This match will be worth watching on and off the pitch; for Liverpool fans, though, it may be better to keep one eye closed.
Prediction: Dortmund 2-0 Liverpool